Where have you gone, play by play announcer?

Posted by By at 8 August, at 19 : 19 PM Print

Where have you gone, play by play announcer?

The play-by-play announcer has all but disappeared in professional sports. Now, games or sporting events are more about “coffee table-type” conversations setup for eager color analysts with the game events faded in the background. The play-by-play announcer used to dominate a radio or TV broadcast giving fans an account of the events which occurred in front of his eyes acting as a pseudo-analyst, sideline reporter along with calling the play-by-play in vivid detail. The announcer would paint a picture for the layperson fan and the die-hard fan that would allow them to actually feel like they were involved in the outcome of the game. Now, fans have to deal with the “filter” of each analyst’s “experience” and their personal feelings on each player, each play, each team and each storyline. Color analysts too often are heard speculating on storylines, trying to stir up controversies and providing circumstantial information on game events that aren’t better than an adept fan’s.

Fans who can remember good play-by-play announcers and young fans really lose in this aspect of any sporting event. When the TV or radio becomes as obnoxious and annoying as sitting next to a loud-mouthed, know-it-all fan at a live game, then the almost “religious” feel of experiencing sports is lost. It begs the question of when and where did a game turn into a segment on talk radio. Many argue that a play-by-play call of a game is boring and controversies spark ratings, but it was great play-by-play announcing which brought tremendous popularity to many sporting events like basketball, boxing, baseball and football. Hopefully, the “business-side” of sporting events (concessions, ticket sales, ratings, web traffic) will be balanced out again by sound reporting and announcing.

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